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Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back

Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back

It’s 1 p.m. – just after your lunch break – and you can feel yourself slipping, slipping, slipping into an unwelcome post-meal nap. How are you supposed to complete your assignments when exhaustion envelops you like a thick, heavy fog? If you’re tired of feeling tired, try these simple tricks to get some more energy.

1. Get Sufficient Sleep

Simple science: you use your fuel during the day and require hours of unconsciousness to replenish. Actor Matthew McConaughey swears by 8.5 hours of sleep each night. “I’m not near as good the next day if I get less,” he once told People magazine.

2. Eat Your Energy

Brownies and Cheetos are darn tasty, but they won’t give you long-lasting energy. Reach for from-the-earth options like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. These foods carry protein and fiber, giving you hours of stamina instead of the minute-long jolt one gets from eating cheese curls.

Take a lesson from Carly Rae Jepson. The singer, most famous for her song “Call Me Maybe,” told Bon Appétit: “I have the same thing for breakfast every day: vanilla yogurt with granola and fruit. And if I can get my hands on some boiled eggs, I go for those, too.”

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3. Exercise

Go out and get your heart pumping. Exercise releases endorphins that will leave you feeling happy and awake. Plus, if you break a sweat during the day, you’ll sleep better at night. Double win!

4. Put Effort Into Your Appearance

When you’re confident in your appearance, you’ll feel more alive. There’s no denying we’re our least energetic selves when we’re at home, on the couch, looking ugly. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit or try a new shade of lipstick – when you feel attractive, you’ll get a jolt every time someone looks at you.

5. Be Social

Don’t waste your beauty efforts in solitude. Surround your pretty self with conversation and laughter in order to boost your spirits and vivacity. Audrey Hepburn once said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” In order to reap the benefits of socializing, opt for positive, happy companions.

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6. Cut Caffeine Midday


Caffeine lingers in your system for hours after your last cup. This can hinder your ability to fall asleep and lower your rest quality when you do sleep. Even decaf varieties have traces of caffeine, so choose your drinks wisely (choose water!).

7. Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is key in all factors of health, and sleep is no exception. Your body will work harder to pump blood and carry out all of its functions if your cells are thirsty. A-listers like Beyoncé, Jessica Alba and Miranda Kerr all swear by the powers of water. If drinking enough is tough for you, grab some celery, broccoli or juicy fruits to get some water through your foods.

8. Don’t Booze Yourself to Sleep

Drinking alcohol before sleep – or even, dare I say it, to put yourself to sleep – is actually a bad idea. Boozed-up sleep is restless and low quality, which will leave you with regrets the next day.

9. Be Your Own Cheerleader

Basking in self-pity is the surest way to use up (or should I say waste?) all of your energy. Congratulate yourself for triumphs and use compliments generously. When you feel down, look for positives and seek company that will give you some good energy. Do not take to sulking alone on the couch!

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10. Let Go of Stress


Whether it’s work, family or personal issues, life is full of stressors that are determined to tire us out (or so it may seem). Tackle these things one at a time, and seek help if necessary.

11. Let Go of Jealousy

Jealousy, like stress and general negativity, can suck up our resources, resulting in a tired, dried-up existence. It’s natural to want what others have, but it is a self-destroying practice. Consider all of the things you have. Prioritize gratefulness and shift your perspective toward the bright side.

12. Smile More

It’s life’s cheapest, most effective accessory! Smiling more can actually lift your spirits and make you feel more energetic. Like I said before, every interaction is an exchange of energy. If you’re smiling at someone, the other person is more likely to respond with her own positive energy.

13. Write To-Do Lists

If you’re feeling bogged down with tasks, take to writing lists. This may make it seem like you have even more to do, but it will really help you rank the items by importance. Complete the minor items first, checking them off as you go. You’ll feel more accomplished, setting you on a productivity roll.

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14. Get Fresh Air


Fill your lungs with the great outdoors to make your cells feel more alive. Your body can complete its internal workings easier when cells are at their best. Rain, wind and sunshine will also engage your sensory system and wake you up to your surroundings.

15. Listen to Music

There’s a reason people call it “pump up” music. Certain varieties can really give you a push. Your body can feel the rhythm and fend off the tiredness. Look at athletes: Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has a workout playlist that revs him up for competitions. It certainly works for him!

16. Take a Shower

Finally, if you need an immediate boost, hop in the shower. The water, which will be more effective when cold, will give you the jolt you need to finish the day’s duties.

Incorporate one or more of these into your life in order to wind up and do more.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Kayla Matthews

Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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